Brown Ice: A Uniquely Seattle Scourge

I have lived in the Midwest and Boston, as has been established here. I am not a stranger to cold, to weeks of below-freezing temperatures, to cars careening off roads and sidewalks turning to slush and then ice beneath your feet, leaving you to discover just how catlike you really are.

In Boston, snow falls, and people shovel or stomp thin trails through the foot-plus banks of snow on the sidewalk. They walk their dogs along it too, of course. This results in yellow snow that can last for a month or more, little growing piddle patterns that you grow to know well as you walk to class or work, day after day.

Seattle has its own version.

Freaking frozen coffee in freaking SeattleFigure 1: fuck this.

Ok. So.

You get up in the morning. It’s a cold-ass day. You pass many fine coffee-serving establishments, as is the way of most stretches of sidewalk in our fair city. On your way to work, you stop and get your Americano or your latte or whatever other syrup-filled business you feel starts your day in the right way. You clutch it for a few blocks, waiting for it to get just below boiling lava hot so you can drink it.

And then, for a few blocks: BLISS.

The temperature is genuine, Goldilocks-grade just right. Quiet, EMP – this is nirvana, this perfectly hot-enough caffeinated bliss in a cup, yes, here we go, we may survive another day yet.

And then, too soon: lukewarm.

So what’s a Seattlelite to do? Chuck it. Pop that lid off, splash your coffee dregs in the bushes or, well, near enough. On the sidewalk’s fine. It’ll go away, right?

Wrong. WRONG.

There’s a certain kind of weather in Seattle that combines uncommonly cold with uncommonly dry. And then your goddamn coffee puddles last for-freaking-ever. For days on end, your fellow man has to make your rejected coffee another landmark to remember, because it’s too cold to melt and too solid to be scraped away by their sad, shuffling feet.

Don’t do this. You can carry the extra few ounces all the way to the next trash can with a bag, FFS.

I walk up and down hills to get to work, man. I can’t be dodging this stuff all the time. It’s early out, and like 20 degrees. Come on.

We can get it together to stop this. We separate our trash into no fewer then seven bins at this point, and we can master this too. Do it for you. Do it for me.

But let’s be real. It’s mainly for me.

Thank you.